Inmagic date formats and regional settings

by Peter Tyrrell Tuesday, August 16, 2005 1:37 PM

Okay, I did some tests and this is the conclusion: in v7 of dbtext anyway, the dbtext.ini file can be given a short date format, BUT this is very misleading because although dbtext uses the dbtext.ini format to *stamp* the date (when automatic), the dbtext.ini format is completely ignored when the date is indexed. And when indexing, dbtext indexes the date as an unambiguous absolute. What does this mean? Let's say today is Feb 10, 2005. My machine's regional settings are M/d/yyyy. To my machine, Feb 10 2005 reads 2/10/2005 in short format. If I don't touch the dbtext.ini, any autodate in short format in dbtext is going to be stamped in as 2/10/2005, and that date string will be indexed as Feb 10 2005. All good. As soon as you try to *overrride* Windows regional settings with dbtext.ini, problems arise. Let's summarize in shorthand, assuming the new record date is Feb 10, 2005: Trouble shows up when dbtext.ini is set to the Windows regional settings' opposite. The autodate gets *stamped* according to dbtext.ini, but *indexed* according to Windows regional settings. Remember "today" is Feb 10 2005 so the date should be getting indexed as Feb 10 2005. Wherever you see Indexed As Oct 2 2005 (Case 2 & 4) it's because dbtext.ini is set to the reverse of Windows regional settings. The take-home message is: do not assume that a date format setting in dbtext.ini overrides Windows regional settings, because it doesn't in all actions. Also, because the date index is never subject to reinterpretation, whatever absolute date was laid down at the time of the orginal indexing (usually when record was saved) is the absolute date that remains, *regardless* of whether the textbase is moved to another machine where the regional settings differ, and regardless of whether the machine the textbase resides on has its regional settings changed. You must re-index the date field to pick up on a different regional settings environment. The consequences of this legacy index behaviour are not at all clear in the Inmagic kbase article 2606 Troubleshooting when the Date format changes after upgrading operating system, nor are the risks of setting date formats in DBTEXT.INI discussed in Inmagic kbase article 2122 Date Formats Supported by DB/TextWorks. In the case of the former, there should be instructions to re-index after the Windows regional settings change, and for the latter, it should be made clear that DBTEXT.INI date format settings do not override Windows regional settings when indexing.


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